How to Create a New Lawn from Seed

Edited - 10th June 2024

A fabulous manicured lawn is one of the most satisfying sights for any homeowner & knowing you laid that beautiful lawn from scratch makes it look even better. Creating a new lawn from seed is relatively straightforward, even if you’re not particularly green-fingered.

In this article, we’ll show you the steps and the equipment it takes to grow a new lawn from seed that will make you beam with pride every time you look out of the window. (and if it makes your neighbours green with envy as well, that’s a bonus).

Seed or turf?

That’s the first question you need to ask yourself when you’re thinking of laying a new lawn. Turfing can be quicker but it’s the more expensive option and there’s something wonderfully rewarding about preparing a plot, planting seeds and watching bare earth spring into vibrant green life.

Step by Step

Choose Your Moment

Mid-spring and early autumn are the best times to create a new lawn from seed as there's plenty of moisture and the moderate temperatures. In early autumn, the roots have all winter to establish themselves, however, if it’s heading towards late autumn, make sure to sow your seeds at least ten days before any frost is due.

Clear Away Old Grass, Weeds and Debris 

The key to creating a flawless lawn is to purge the area of vegetation, stones and debris thoroughly. Use a sharp spade and a keen eye to remove every trace of old grass or other plants such as bindweed, daisies and buttercups. You can also consider using a turf cutter to make light work of large turfed areas.

If you choose to treat the area with weed killer, make sure it’s a herbicide that acts on the weeds then disappears. Avoid the residual type that stays in the soil, as that will stop the new grass in its tracks.

preparing the soil for grass seed
Credit: schulzie

Rotavate and Enrich the Soil

It's time to give your soil a boost so that when you sow your lawn seed, it'll thrive! You’ll need to clear and turn over the soil to a depth of around 25 centimetres and our power rotavators is perfect for the job. This is the perfect opportunity to cultivate the best soil for grass by digging in plenty of well-rotted manure, compost and topsoil, especially if the earth is sandy. Leave the enriched soil to settle for at least a few days, or better still, leave for up to 6 weeks if you can.

Level, Compact, Fertilise and Rake Repeatedly 

Now you’re ready for the final phase of preparation before sowing: 

  • Repeat the weeding process to clear any unwelcome plants that took hold while the soil was settling.
  • Tread the earth down by walking over it in different directions.
  • Check that the lawn area is level then rake in 70 grams per square metre of general-purpose fertiliser. If you're not sure how to check if your lawn is level, we have all the info you need here.
  • Finally, rake over the ground repeatedly in different directions to create a fine tilth which simply means prepared surface soil that is in perfect condition for grass growth.

Choose Good Quality Seed

There are lots of different types of lawn and most feature a mix of grass. For an average family lawn, a blend of durable ryegrass, fescue (with smooth texture) and self-repairing meadow grass is a safe bet. At HSS, we have a variety of lawn seeds you can buy that can help you achieve a healthy, green lawn in your front or back garden. If you're unsure which lawn seed you'll need, get in touch with our colleagues, either in your local branch or via live chat.

growing lawn from the seed
Credit: schulzie

Sow Your Seeds

When it's time to start sowing your seeds, you need to make sure you spread them as evenly as possible. Remember that each seed becomes a separate plant, so they need a bit of growing room. Aim for 25 to 30 grams of seed per square metre. When seeding a large area, divide it into square metre sections. Split the seed quantity in half and spread that half over the whole area, working in parallel rows lengthways. Then repeat the process with the other half, working in parallel rows widthways. After sowing, rake over the ground so that the seeds get a light covering of soil. Soak the ground immediately after sowing, using a hosepipe with a sprinkler attachment.

Wait and Water

It can take an average of 10 to 15 days before the lawn seeds germinate, depending on the temperature, the amount of sunshine and the type you’ve planted. It’s essential to keep the area moist and protect the seeds from birds throughout that period. Once the 10-15 dys have passed, you should have a beautiful, flourishing green lawn.


Your new lawn can have its first cut when the grass reaches around 7.5 cm tall. Ideally, use a cylinder-bladed mower and remove the front roller to avoid flattening the young grass & ensure the blades are ultra-sharp. If you’ve sown your lawn seeds in the autumn, you won't have to mow the grass over winter. If it’s spring, keep mowing every week or so. It’s wise to collect the clippings for the first few mows as they can stifle new grass. Try to avoid using the lawn as much as possible for the first few months of its young life, and you’ll give the grass the best chance to establish itself.

Learn More Before You Sow

Now you know all about creating a new lawn from seed. If you’d like to explore laying turf or creating a low-maintenance lawn, no problem! We’ve also got blogs for how to create a low-maintenance lawn too.

About the Author

Samina Ahmed

Samina is a member of the E-commerce team. She has plenty of product knowledge & enjoys writing about all things DIY.

You may also like


Make sure you never miss out on our latest trade offers and news from HSS Hire Group. Sign up today.